It’s not uncommon to get laid off, retire, move to a new geographical area, or even desire to not be stuck behind a desk all day. All of these may precipitate looking for a new career path. A career change is a big move, and for aspiring Pilates teachers, it’s all about learning a lot of moves. It’s also about the desire to create more health and wellness in the world. At ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio, all of the Pilates teachers are taught the Polestar method by expert Dr. Karyn Staples, PT, PhD.
Staples says that doing Pilates is for every body, and that some people are particularly well suited for teaching Pilates. “The personality traits of a good Pilates teacher are to be able to talk to people. They need a sense of compassion and caring for somebody else. They need a passion for learning as much as a passion for sharing what they learned, that teacher quality.”
Many of ProHealth’s Pilates teachers started as people who were taking Pilates classes, and some came to ProHealth as previous personal trainers, like Terri Wilson. She said, “When people ask the question, ‘How did I learn Pilates?’ I like to give the example that it’s like an Italian chef that learns to make Chinese food. Pilates is a different kind of fitness that is the foundation for strength training.”
The Polestar® Pilates coursework through ProHealth is taken over six weekends, once a month for six months. Wilson cites that the Polestar® Pilates training she received from Dr. Karyn Staples was a “wonderful experience.” Wilson said there was a lot of medical anatomy and learning about the body, not just exercises. “Dr Karyn Staples is an open book of Pilates. She’s the physical therapist whisperer. She knows everything about the bones, movement, and how it relates to Pilates. It was very challenging, and yet very rewarding.”
For Wilson, the hard work of training and studying for the Polestar® Pilates comprehensive training program was worth it. She loves teaching Pilates at ProHealth. She says, “I love letting people know that they’re stronger than what they think they are and they’re learning something brand new, and they feel amazing when they leave. I always get the response that, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I did that.’”
Wilson thinks that the ideal person to learn to be a Pilates teacher would check the boxes of these questions, “Are you personable? Do you love visiting with people? And do you love moving the body and exercising? Do you have the desire to make people feel good? And then I go, ‘Great. Then maybe this is the great career for you.’”
For those who want to work at ProHealth as a Pilates teacher post-graduation, Staples offers tuition assistance to the Polestar® Pilates program. The tuition assistance program has to start with an interview with Dr. Staples, first. To request an interview, visit DrKarynStaples.com and fill out the contact us form or write Dr. Staples at firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful candidates will sign up to work for a certain number of hours for ProHealth after graduation. Staples says that even with that, working as a Pilates teacher affords someone a lot of flexibility in their life to choose a schedule that works for them.
Flexibility is also the hallmark of how Pilates has to be taught. From a vast choice of possible movements, instruction is personalized to individual clients and small groups of attendees. Staples said, “You’re giving this knowledge and this experience. You’re trying to create an experience for clients to fit their needs and abilities. And you need mental focus to prepare a lesson and then modify it on the fly.”
“Learning the curriculum I teach enables you to tell or show a client how to move, watch their movements, and give modifications and hands-on cueing, as necessary.”
The Polestar® Pilates curriculum through ProHealth starts with an evergreen, asynchronous online principles course. Then, the in-person experience is six weekends, both Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., over six to seven months. Staples says that to thoroughly learn everything, a potential Pilates teacher should expect homework, readings, and videos on the days between intensive weekends. Staples says that with apprentice teaching time, and three to four hours a week of practice and studying, her trainees are ready to pass their Polestar® Pilates exam after about a year.
The instruction is such that trainee teachers can begin seeing clients under supervision after the first three months of weekend intensives. “At that point, people can start earning some income to go along with the rest of the training time.”
Without tuition assistance from ProHealth, the entire Polestar® Pilates comprehensive teacher training curriculum, including online coursework, weekend modules, books, and final exam is $8,100.
Pilates as an exercise practice has been around since the 1920s. As Staples says, “This isn’t a fad. This has been around for a long time, and there are many principles to help people do things better in their everyday lives.” Polestar-educated teachers are found across the globe, and Staples considers the curriculum to be the best available for Pilates.
The unique feature of getting the training locally through ProHealth is the access and experience of learning directly from Dr. Karyn Staples. She’s been teaching the program for over a decade. She’s also been a physical therapist for 23 years and a Pilates teacher for 16 of those years, which is as long as she has owned and operated ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio in Peachtree City.
She says, “I’m looking at Pilates as a profession versus a hobby. I want to make sure that Pilates really truly is for every body, and that the individuals that are going through a training program, are prepared to teach every body. They’ll get a good foundation, and they can also feel like they have a mentor in me that they can reach out to further down the line.”
Staples is looking forward to educating the next generation of Pilates teachers. Polestar® Pilates in-person training starts in September at ProHealth. Prior to the in-person coursework, there is 15 hours of pre-requisite coursework that must be completed. There are two required classes, Polestar® Pilates Principles (asynchronous) and Mat Training, an online synchronous course. Cohorts start in May, and are also available in June and July. Contact Dr. Karyn Staples to get the link to register for the training and to apply for tuition assistance and to work at ProHealth post-training at email@example.com.
If Pilates exercise is something you would like to explore, there are private lessons and classes available throughout the week at ProHealth. Call 770-487-1931 or visit https://prohealthga.com/schedule/. ProHealth is located at 1777 Georgian Park in Peachtree City.